Hot Tub Time Machine (2010) - Can't Stop the Movies
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Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)

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Danny LIKERegrets. I've got a few, but, then again, my inability to time travel allows those regrets to endure. Such fantasies can be realized, though, especially when experienced through the magic of cinema.

Hot Tub Time Machine is such a vehicle for that magic. A profane and resentful take on Back to the Future, Hot Tub revolves around four men whose lives are in shambles. After one of them makes a rather spectacular failure of a suicide attempt, his long-separated friends decide to take him back to the location of their halcyon days of youth, a ski resort in the remote mountains.

Rob Corddry plays Lou, the suicide attemptee. His nickname is "The Violator," and everything in his life he touches, he destroys. Craig Robinson is Nick, his friend the failed musician, with a marriage failing quickly as well. And then there's John Cussack as Adam, whose life has dwindled to an empty home, with a loser nephew in the basement. That's Jacob, who plays through Second Life as a convict, spending his days in the basement playing a game as a man who spends his days in a jail cell.

Once the four of them reach the ski lodge, they're unnerved by the dilapidation that's encroached upon the place. There's cat piss everywhere and even a surly one armed bellman to keep them on their toes. When they're treated to a mysteriously functional and oddly ethereal hot tub, they are overjoyed and begin a night of bacchanal celebration.

Okay, they wake up the next day and it's 1986. It's an important weekend in their lives, as Lou gets beaten up, Adam loses the girl of his dreams, Nick gets on stage and completely bombs, and Jacob is, well, conceived.

Hot Tub Time Machine is as ludicrous as one would expect from a movie with that title, and the film is not afraid to flaunt it. That has the unfortunate tendency to undermine any and all dramatic tension in the film, but the absolutely manic performances by the leads keep the film moving.

It's an interesting dissection of nostalgia. While Coddry and Robinson are both fairly recent comedy creations, John Cusack's career came from the teen comedies of the 80's and his iconic status as the boy holding the boom box over his head. While no throwback is surprisingly given to his own 80's ski comedy, Better Off Dead, it's not completely surprising; the movie's nostalgic values seem completely in tune with modern sensibilities.

In fact, there's a rather seedy resentment of the 80's underneath all the good natured ribbing. The people they encounter are mostly patriotic zealots, shallow bimbos, or drug taking nutjobs, and this is including themselves. Jacob, the pasty nerd who didn't live through the time, tries to remain the voice of reason, only to fail time and again from preventing the other three from messing up their own pasts.

The movie takes an interesting choice then by ending the film with a ridiculous pastiche of 80's film cliches. The three men were fucked up, but once they concentrated on their money, their music, and the power of love, their lives turn out happy ever after.

Hot Tub Time Machine won't change anyone's world, but for a send-up and a rather cynical love letter to 1986, it truly is a bodacious time.

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Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)

This film is currently available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Directed by Steve Pink
Starring John Cusack, Rob Corddry, and Craig Robinson

Posted by Danny

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  1. Hello admin! This is very helpful posting thanks.

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